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William Hill Howcott (1847-1927)


William Hill Howcott was born on 1 July 1847 in Mississippi - probably at Canton, which is the main town in Madison county. He was the youngest known child of John B Howcott and his wife Elizabeth W (formerly Jones).  Further information about his father can be found here.

He served in Captain Addison Harvey’s Scouts during the Civil War. Most of the members of this Confederate unit were recruited from Madison county. Union forces destroyed the Howcott home at Canton during the War, resulting in Elizabeth Howcott sharing her slaves' quarters.

In the 1890s, William Hill paid for a 20-foot high granite obelisk, which stands at Academy Street, Canton. It commemorates his body servant Willis Howcott, who was of a similar age and accompanied him to war, where Willis lost his life in combat.  The inscription includes these words:  

“A tribute to my faithful servant and friend, Willis Howcott, a colored boy of rare loyalty and faithfulness, whose memory I cherish with deep gratitude”.  

William Hill Howcott (2nd from right) at a Harvey's Scouts reunion, held at New Orleans on 25 April 1906


Monument to Willis Howcott at Canton, Mississippi

William Hill Howcott

W H Howcott, a clerk, is recorded at 186 Common in Gardner’s Directory of New Orleans, 1869.

He married Mary Edith, daughter of John and Harriet Louise Watt, at New Orleans on 14 December 1875. 

Mary Edith Watt Howcott - wedding portrait, 1875

Their children were:

Name Born Died
Harley Alexander Watt 1878 1930
Louise 1879 1890
Edith Elizabeth Mary Delgado 1882 1965
William Hill 1886 1907
Gladys 1891 1976
Constance 1893 1895
(two others)

Mary Edith Watt Howcott died 14 May 1893 at the old John Watt residence, Carondelet Street.  

The parish house of Trinity Episcopal Church, New Orleans was sponsored by William Hill Howcott in memory of his son of the same name. 

Trinity Church house Entrance

In 1917, he also provided a stained glass window at Grace Episcopal Church, Canton, in memory of his mother Elizabeth W Howcott.

Grace church, Canton Elizabeth W Howcott window

William Hill Howcott died at New Orleans on 12 December 1927.  


The following pictures are included by kind permission of those who supplied me with them:

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